Distinguished Malian malariologist’s untimely passing mourned by the malaria community
The MMV team was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Professor Ogobara Doumbo, who passed away on Saturday, 9 June, 2018 in Marseille, France. This accomplished Malian clinician and committed malaria researcher was for MMV a colleague, key opinion leader, respected partner and, from 2009 to 2014, a member of our Expert Scientific Advisory Committee.
A proud native of the Dogon Country in the Mopti region of Mali, Prof. Doumbo came from a family of traditional healers and knew from the age of 10 that he would be a medical doctor.1 He fulfilled this ambition by graduating from the National School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bamako, Mali and received his PhD in Parasitology from the University of Montpellier, France. He has also received certificates in Epidemiology and Bioethics from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities, and went on to earn several other diplomas and distinctions.
Prof. Doumbo had an illustrious career in the field of malaria and will be remembered for his abiding commitment to building research capacity in Africa. In 1992, he co-founded the Malaria Research and Training Center in Mali, which is now a well-established and recognized institute in West Africa. He was a distinguished and well-published academic and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases at the University of Mali, Bamako, for 10 years. He was also a member of the Scientific Council of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Francophonie University Association).
In 2007, Prof. Doumbo was awarded the Christophe Mérieux Prize to support research on infectious diseases in developing countries and reward research teams working permanently in these countries.2 In 2013, he was awarded the International Prize from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), in part to acknowledge his work on the development of chemoprevention strategies to protect children from malaria.3
Prof. Doumbo’s work also included mapping malaria and chloroquine resistance across Mali and ensuring that government malaria control initiatives were based on evidence. Most recently he worked with MMV, through the West African Network for Clinical Trials of Antimalarial Drugs (WANECAM), on a major study on the repeated dosing of four artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) in children and adults with uncomplicated malaria in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
MMV extends sincere condolences to Prof. Ogobara Doumbo’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be deeply missed by us and the wider malaria community not least for his knowledge, passion and humility.
1. The Lancet